Charlottesville Made Major Mistakes in Handling Protests

12/4/17
 
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from NPR,
12/1/17:

An independent review of Charlottesville’s handling of the white nationalist rally there in August found that law enforcement and city officials made several significant mistakes, resulting in violence and distrust.

The city commissioned the report, which was prepared by Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney in Virginia. In conducting the investigation, Heaphy said his team pored through hundreds of thousands of documents, interviewed hundreds of witnesses, and reviewed countless hours of video and audio.

The resulting 220-page report is a detailed record of the chaos and conflict that unspooled in the Virginia college town. It is unsparing in identifying the errors authorities made that day and in the preceding months.

The city failed to protect either free expression or public safety, the report finds: “This represents a failure of one of government’s core functions — the protection of fundamental rights. Law enforcement also failed to maintain order and protect citizens from harm, injury, and death. Charlottesville preserved neither of those principles on August 12, which has led to deep distrust of government within this community.”

The “most tragic manifestation” of the failure to protect public safety was the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the report says.

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